Men with dyslexia have altered structural connections between the thalamus and auditory cortex on the left side of the brain, new research published in JNeurosci reveals. The study extends similar observations of the dyslexic visual system and highlights the importance of early sensory processing for reading proficiency.
Neural fibers connect a subcortical structure in the auditory pathway -- the left medial geniculate body (MGB) -- to part of the cerebral cortex called the motion-sensitive planum temporale (mPT). Nadja Tschentscher and colleagues present evidence that the strength of this pathway is reduced in adults with dyslexia compared to typical readers. The researchers found left MGB-mPT connectivity was associated with reading fluency only in typical readers, while previous studies reported associations between an analogous visual pathway and reading ability in both dyslexics and typical readers. Taken together, the results broaden our understanding of dyslexia -- one of the most common learning disabilities -- to include alterations in lower as well as higher brain structures.
Article: Reduced structural connectivity between left auditory thalamus and the motion-sensitive planum temporale in developmental dyslexia*
Corresponding author: Nadja Tschentscher (Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Leipzig, Germany), firstname.lastname@example.org
*A preprint of this manuscript has been posted on the arXiv: https://arxiv.org/abs/1811.11658
JNeurosci, the Society for Neuroscience's first journal, was launched in 1981 as a means to communicate the findings of the highest quality neuroscience research to the growing field. Today, the journal remains committed to publishing cutting-edge neuroscience that will have an immediate and lasting scientific impact, while responding to authors' changing publishing needs, representing breadth of the field and diversity in authorship.
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The Society for Neuroscience is the world's largest organization of scientists and physicians devoted to understanding the brain and nervous system. The nonprofit organization, founded in 1969, now has nearly 37,000 members in more than 90 countries and over 130 chapters worldwide.